"Oi indeed", as a Kiwi once said.
One of the many rewarding things about holding down the job of bicycle messenger in any metropolis around the world or small ville on the South Island of New Zealand is that things happen within the context of the day to day job routine that are never normal or on the schedule. Surprises and unpredictable life changing events are constant and accelerating all around you as you manage your work day from the saddle.
Take Friday for example. I show up at one of two of my 1030 schedule stops, pick up the basket on 29 and check the empty one on 28. Just as I exit the elevator and cross the wide shiny white marble lobby my phone rings. It was Abby letting me know that she had a filing for the court which changed my next move from heading to my second 1030 first. Instead it now made more sense logistically to go grab the unexpected, non-scheduled call first before proceeding with the normal route. Another rewarding thing about being a messenger is that there are perpetual changes in the order of your work flow. At anytime someone can and will call with a special request that has you moving in a direction that you were not planning.
At any rate, when I unlocked it made sense to me to use a little modern alley cut through to get to Church Street then ditty bop over to the Carillon Building. The variable here was that Charlotte was hosting another Bujahideen Festival known as the 8th Annual Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival which had vendors set up underneath pop up tents on both sides of the little alley. I tried to concentrate on my line without making any eye contact with the out of staters setting up their cookers and trophies for display. Then it happened, when I rolled passed the third table down on the left I could not believe what I was looking at.
A giant and most recently dead pig was laying there on its back eyes closed wide shut. Yikes, I thought to myself as I noticed the flies on the bloody red exposed flesh hanging open from the gutting. It was easy to recognize the head man in charge so I set my bike down and asked him, "Is this your pig?" He replied with a touch of modest pride that it was indeed his pig that he planned on winning the competition with. I then asked him if it would be alright if I made some pictures of his posthumous award winning swine. "No problem", he said with a scowl and the wave of his meaty hand across his own torso from left to right.
After making a few snaps I rolled away to continue my work circuit wondering what the next thing that I was not expecting to see would be. I would have rolled through and documented the rest of the modern day festival for you but my heart was just not in it. Like many that take over the Center City of Charlotte this festival/party was filled with tons of waste ready to be scooped by the garbage trucks standing by idling on diesel parked at every other side street off of the main drag. As well as there was obvious signs of gluttony, anger, hate and most importantly a watered down non-authentic culture moping around behind masks of happiness, a thin sheer veil revealing their true lack of understanding any real connection to their now yet wanting something so desperately that they are walking towards the illusion created for them by the Corporate Plan of Aggression. Once again the strategy of a nation is apparent and what a sad sight it is indeed.
For those of you bound to see me later this morning in an elevator and ask how my weekend was, let me save you the breath. It was fine. I split, moved and stacked the 4th and 5th trips of downed red oak from a few miles away I that have been working on for the past two weeks. Also, Ms. Arcen and I played several games of Mancala which I still have not figured out the strategy of.